We all need calcium, women especially. In addition to strengthening bones and teeth, calcium is also vital to muscle and nerve development and plays a fundamental role in blood clotting.

According to the National Institute of Health, many people don’t get enough calcium from their diet, and The University of Virginia reports that women are eight times more likely to develop osteoporosis than men. A condition resulting from a loss of bone mass, osteoporosis may lead to bone fractures and dental problems later in life. Although calcium deficits can affect both men and women, the health consequences for women are much more serious.

PMS Management, Breast Health & More

In addition to the main benefit of promoting bone health, calcium provides other health benefits such as a balanced menstrual cycle and breast health. Did you know that breastfeeding affects a mother’s bones? While they recover it quickly, studies have shown that women often lose 3 to 5 percent of their bone mass during breastfeeding. This is because the growing baby has a great need for calcium, and until it can be obtained from breast milk, it is drawn from the mother’s bones. This is why it is so important to take a high-quality calcium supplement, especially during pregnancy.

Calcium has also been shown to lessen the symptoms of PMS. Studies have shown that a 500mg daily calcium supplementation has shown a reduction in tiredness, depression and appetite changes associates with PMS. It has not been proven beyond a doubt, but anything that might relieve PMS symptoms is worth a try, right?

How much do I need?

According to the University of Illinois Extension, the average U.S. woman only get 500 to 600 mg of calcium each day. This is significantly less than the recommended 1,000 mg that women between the ages of 19 and 50 years of age should have. The amount of calcium you need will increase after the age of 50. Women 50 and up need 1,200 mg of calcium per day to support healthy bone mass.

Calcium Sources

Aside from supplementation, foods are an exceptional source of calcium. An 8-ounce serving of milk or yogurt or a 3-ounce serving of cheese delivers about 300 to 450 mg of calcium. Canned sardines, green leafy veggies such as kale and spinach, and calcium-enriched foods, such as orange juice and soy milk, are also great sources. If you’re interested in taking an over-the-counter calcium supplement, contact Dr. Hessel’s office for more information. Balanced nutrition is the key to great health, and we look forward to helping you meet your needs!